One evening, a few years ago, a conversation was heard that still makes us chuckle.
A couple of residents were lined up, waiting for their evening medications. One of the ladies was talking to the other, who kept asking: “Huh?” or “What?” Finally, the former, asked (or, rather, shouted) in exasperation: “Do you have trouble with your hearing?”
Here at St. Anne’s, when you think about it, a number of our residents have at least a little hearing trouble. They are not alone. Actually, over 36 million Americans suffer with some hearing loss, according to howsyourhearing.org, making it the third most common health problem in the country.
In honor of October’s National “Audiology Awareness Month” & “Protect Your Hearing Month,” one of our readers suggested we post an article on this important topic.
The above-mentioned site offers five common sources of hearing loss: exposure to excessive loud noise; ear infections, trauma, or ear disease; harm of the inner ear and ear drum from contact with a foreign object (cotton swabs, fingers, bugs); illness or certain medications; and deteriorating hearing due to the normal aging process.
With these in mind, one can still take precautions to protect one’s hearing. Some suggestions include wearing protective devices (such as ear plugs or muffs) when around loud sounds, keeping the volume down on one’s radio, TV, or other AV equipment, and never putting anything (such as a cue tip) in one’s ear. (Maybe the loud accordion music at our monthly dances is perilous.)
This site also suggests some warning signs of hearing loss. These include: difficulty hearing people talk in noisy environments; others have to repeat themselves; people seeming to “mumble” all the time; and ringing, buzzing, or hissing sounds in the ears.
Another source of information on this topic is hearingloss.org.